Andrea Lynn Hitchings Fortner, 74, passed peacefully into the arms of her Savior in the early morning hours of August 24, 2020, at Coliseum Medical Center in Macon, Georgia.
Andrea was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, on November 28, 1945, the oldest child and only daughter of the late Bill and Edith Hitchings. With her father being in the Air Force, she, her mother, and her brother Tim had the chance to live in many places around the world, including Virginia, New York, Newfoundland, Scotland, and Texas. One of the things she cherished the most in this life was friendship, and she communicated with friends she made in all of these places up until the very end of her life. It was while she lived in San Antonio, Texas as a high school student that her future husband William “Jerry” Fortner, who was also in the Air Force, saw her singing in the church choir and knew that he had found his forever sweetheart.
She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, attended beauty school and worked for a short time in a salon, and then married her sweetheart on October 9, 1965. Their honeymoon was moving from San Antonio to Stockbridge, Georgia where Jerry’s family lived. Andrea made a home here in Georgia and lived her life to the fullest. Her true desire was to be a stay-at-home wife and mother, and she did this amazingly and effortlessly. She took odd jobs throughout the years to help send her children to Christian school, including driving a school van; working part-time in a ceramics shop, a Hallmark store, and a temporary agency; and then taking full-time jobs at Armstrong Lock and Supply and General Paper Goods as her children grew older. She loved the Lord and served many years at Liberty Baptist Tabernacle (Stockbridge, GA) and Philadelphia Baptist Church (Forsyth, GA) as a nursery worker; taught Sunday School and Wednesday night classes, led Ladies Bible studies, participated in Ladies Fellowship, and sang in the choir. She loved to travel with Jerry, and two of her favorite trips were their road trip to Mount Rushmore in 2015 to celebrate their 50th anniversary and an Alaskan cruise in 2017. They owned an RV for many years and had some great adventures, both with their camping club and on their own. She had a deep love for Southern Gospel music, so one of her favorite traditions until this past year was spending the week of July 4th in Candler, NC for the Primitive Quartet Singing. She and Jerry did this for 17 years, as well as attending more Southern Gospel concerts within driving distance than you could ever count. She loved reading, cross-stitching, watching movies and TV (especially HGTV, Wheel of Fortune, and Fox News), listening to music, feeding and watching the birds who visited her yard, decorating, scrapbooking, and collecting things she loved. She played the dulcimer and the autoharp. She was one of the most organized people you would ever meet, with at least one or two extras of any item you might need in her pantry, and she probably already had a birthday card for your next birthday when she sent your current one. She loved the children at church, and gave each of them a card with $5 for their birthday. She made friends in every aspect of her life and kept them well, as is evidenced by the outpouring of love her family has received during her long illness and passing. And only her love for the Lord surpassed her love for her family.
She was predeceased by her parents Bill and Edith Hitchings and her parents-in-love Bill “Cotton” and Flonnie Fortner.
Andrea leaves her precious memories to be cherished by her loving husband Jerry Fortner, with whom she would have celebrated 55 years of marriage this year; son Doug Fortner and girlfriend Cheryl Tisland; daughter Janette Fortner and fiancé Christopher Bradley; grandson Christopher Camantigue; granddaughter Courtney Fortner; granddaughter Megan Camantigue Caldwell and husband Candler Caldwell; grandson Ryan Fortner; brother Tim Hitchings and wife Katherine Hitchings; brother-in-law Tom Fortner and wife Betty Fortner; aunt Gwen Hitchings; soon-to-be in-laws Lynn and Nancy Bradley; and many beloved nephews, nieces, cousins, family, and friends.
Due to COVID-19, a memorial service will be held for friends and family in November.
Monroe County Memorial Chapel has charge of arrangements.